The Pros and Cons of Berber Carpets

by interior designer

in Floors

A Berber carpet will always make an attractive addition to a floor in the home. The name largely refers to the type of weave and color that is associated with the carpet and is unique to this particular style. For example, the levels of loops and reduced amount of pile, as compared to other types of carpet, make it distinct and this is also apparent in the high density of the weave that results. All this makes Berber carpets extremely wear-resistant and long lasting.

As anyone familiar with the tribes of North-West Africa will guess, the Berber carpet is named after the nomadic Berber tribes found in this region of the world. These people have used these particular weaving techniques for thousands of years and for a very good reason. By the day, the deserts of North Africa are scorching hot but by night, the temperature can plummet and the air becomes very cold. The tribe’s people thus made use of this fabric to wrap themselves up in during the night and still do to this day.

The Berber tribe mostly used camel hair or wool but nowadays, Berber carpets can be found in a variety of materials including olefin and nylon. Most carpets of this type are found in lighter colors and tones such as off-white and cream and this is the traditional style the carpet is found in. However, there are more modern designs which make use of darker colors.

The main benefit of Berber carpets, apart from their attractive appearance, is their ability to withstand wear and tear. A carpet of this type placed in an area where people often tread, will stand up to the test of time very well. The same goes for the onslaught that is vacuum cleaning. Some rugs can be damaged by the vacuum process, but this isn’t the case with the sturdy Berber rug. That said, if you buy the cheapest type of Berber, then don’t expect it to be as strong as the mid-priced and expensive versions. This is usually the case with any item you buy.

The main drawback of a Berber carpet is the fact that it doesn’t stand up well to stains. You can find stain-resistant Berber carpets and these are ideal for more messy areas of the home but in general, the rug will need to be taken to a professional cleaning service if damaged in this way. The dense fibres also mean that any dirt that finds its way into the carpet will be relatively difficult to get out again. If you have cats, it’s also likely to be highly attractive to them as a scratching post due to its particular weave and thus at risk of being unravelled.

There are pros and cons to every type of carpet and the benefits and risks need to be weighed up in relation to your home and lifestyle. That said, a Berber carpet is very beautiful and comes to a lot of cultural history behind it. It’s hard to imagine this type of carpet not being a good fit into most styles of home décor.

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